Claiming majority support among AIADMK MLAs, party General Secretary V.K. Sasikala on Monday asserted that she had the strength “to manage any number of enemies”.
Addressing hundreds of supporters outside the Poes Garden residence of the late J. Jayalalithaa, Sasikala reiterated that it was she who pressed O. Panneerselvam to become the Chief Minister in December.
“After Jayalalithaa’s death, I told him to become the Chief Minister,” she said.
She claimed Panneerselvam wanted her to take charge of the state but she told him that it was important at that time for her to be with the body of Jayalalithaa, who died on December 5.
“I have been with Amma for 33 years and I am used to threats,” she said. “What is happening now is not new.
“The party cadres are with me,” she added to applause. “As long as the cadres are with me and with Amma’s blessings, an AIADMK government will be in place.
“We have the strength to manage any number of enemies,” she added.
Sasikala and Panneerselvam are locked in a bitter power struggle in the AIADMK.
Ten Lok Sabha and two Rajya Sabha members of the AIADMK as well as six of the 135 MLAs are siding with Panneerselvam.
The rest of the MLAs are reportedly with Sasikala and holed up in a resort near Mahabalipuram, about 90 km from here. Sasikala wants to meet the Tamil Nadu Governor again to stake claim to form a government.